Provided by: http://ramwools.com/yarn/vegan.html
15 Vegan Tips
Tips for people interested in going vegan
October 24, 2017
Going vegan can be a scary step for some. If you are unsure whether or not to try having an entirely plant-based diet, here are a few tips and tricks to help you get through the transition.
- Educate Yourself: It’s important to know why veganism is important and relevant. Watch some documentaries on Netflix about how it can impact so many other things (the environment, other people, animals). Cowspiracy, Forks over Knives and What the Health are only a few of the many that can be streamed on Netflix. Earthlings is another great one, however, it is purely about the mistreatment of animals and spares no details. Make sure you are prepared when you sit down to watch it. It can be viewed for free at nationearth.com.
- Learn how to Make Yummy and Easy Recipes: There are plenty of “easy” meals that can be prepared when you’re hungry. It’s very easy to be lazy and to grab something easy that isn’t vegan, but that’s something that you need to avoid because it can very easily become a bad habit. One of my favorites is beans and rice; it’s healthy and easy. Find one that you love. Google is your friend.
- Know your Vocabulary: You can never assume that something is going to be vegan (unless it is purely a fruit or vegetable). Make sure to check the ingredients on the packaging when buying something at the store. Not everything is going to say “vegan” on it, however, there are a few that do. There may be ingredients that you don’t know on the ingredient list, so just put it aside and look up to see if it’s vegan later. If you look up “Is (product) vegan” on Google, something will almost always come up. Words that are NOT vegan that you should look out for are: whey, which can be found in some loaves of bread, and gelatin, which can be found in some candy.
- Know the Vegan Brands: It’s important to familiarize yourself with food brands that are vegan. Many of them produce frozen meals that can save you a lot of time, effort and money in the future. Even if you don’t know any at the top of your head, it’s good to recognize them when out to make grocery shopping faster.
- Know the Substitutes: It may be hard to completely cut out eggs and dairy from your life, but there are countless substitutes for almost everything. Besides the obvious milk substitutes, there are ways to make non-dairy ice cream, yogurt; there are even meat substitutes. Knowing these will make cooking and baking so much easier.
- When making food, make a lot of it: A good trick is to make a large dish of food for yourself and save the leftovers for another time. This way you can just grab it out of the fridge and heat it up; it will save so much time.
- Grocery Shop for Yourself: Sometimes you have to take things into your own hands and hit up Kroger for yourself. Even if you’re there with your parents, it’s important to know how to pick out food for yourself. Something that really helps is to grocery shop with a friend that is vegan or vegetarian as well. This makes it fun and easier. It’s always nice to see what kind of snacks another friend gets that you didn’t even know where vegan.
- Surround Yourself with Vegan Snacks: Whether you want to be a healthy vegan or not, snacks are important. Make sure to stock up on foods that are vegan so that you won’t be tempted to eat a non-vegan snack. Learn what snacks are vegan; you might be surprised. Some of my favorites are Oreos, Sour Patch Kids, Nutter Butters, Sunchips (original) and Takis.
- Don’t Give in to Your Cravings: A craving may seem small and harmless at the time, but it will spiral and become out of control. Try your best not to succumb to a craving that’s not vegan because it will get harder to stop. Eventually, the cravings will pass.
- Try New Things: When cutting out a large portion of your diet, you might cut out some of your favorite foods. If this is the case, I promise you that there are better ones out there. There is not much room for a vegan to be picky, so don’t be afraid to try something new. You might not always like it, but there is a good chance you will. Also, your taste buds will adapt and change to your new lifestyle, so you might end up liking something you didn’t before.
- Take a Vitamin: This can really apply to anyone, regardless of their diet. Taking a vitamin is a good source to get all your, well, vitamins that you might not receive from your meals. The one I use is called “Deva Vegan Multivitamin,” but there are plenty to chose from.
- Eat Plenty of Fruits and Veggies: Again, this can apply to everyone and something that everyone knows to do. In the end, being a vegan means having an entirely plant-based diet. There are so many plants a person can eat, so make sure to eat as many fruits and veggies as possible. This can be hard, especially when chowing down on all of those vegan snacks. But remember, being vegan does not necessarily mean that you will be healthy. Be aware of what you are putting into your body.
- Don’t be Afraid to Make Adjustments: Eating out can be difficult, especially if you don’t want to make a “scene” while reciting a complicated order; however, I assure you that the server has seen much worse than a few adjustments on the dish. Also, no one really cares about how long your order is. As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters. If you can find out which restaurant you are eating at beforehand, it is extremely helpful to look up if they have any vegan food or food that can be accommodating to your diet. Something I have noticed is that sometimes people don’t know the difference between vegan and vegetarian. Be sure to make it clear that you do not eat dairy or eggs along with meat because many times the server will just not mention the fact that they do not know what you are talking about.
- Veganism is a Lifestyle: Not eating meat and dairy is a huge part of veganism, however, there is more to it that you might think. If you are interested in becoming 100% vegan and cruelty-free, this includes not buying leather or cosmetic items that use animal products or test on animals. Not every vegan decides to do this, but it is very rewarding and not all that hard to do. Many cosmetic items (shampoos, conditioners, deodorant, makeup, etc.) say that they are cruelty-free or that they don’t test on animals on the packaging, and many items that are made of leather usually say “genuine leather” somewhere on the item. And, as always, the internet is your friend; if you are unsure of a product, just look it up.
- You’re Going to Make Mistakes: Nobody’s perfect, and you’re going to accidentally eat or buy something that’s not vegan, and that’s okay. The point of veganism is to minimize harm as much as possible. Cutting out animal products from your diet is a huge step towards causing the least amount of suffering possible, so focusing on your accomplishments is very important. Remember that being vegan means being guilt free an not having to hurt anything or anyone in order to survive, and that’s a beautiful thing.